The Minnesota Humanities Center’s grant programs provide opportunities to partner with organizations offering robust humanities programming in communities across Minnesota.

Minnesota Humanities Center Competitive Grant 2015

The Minnesota Humanities Center is announcing the launch of a competitive grant opportunity through the Minnesota State Legacy Amendment Fund. To support the Humanities Center’s ongoing work in education and with Veterans, proposals in one of two areas will be accepted:

  • Initiatives that enhance student engagement in education by making space for absent narratives*, through the use of resources including but not limited to, the Minnesota Humanities Center’s Absent Narratives Resource Collection, or;
  • The creation of original educational resources around Veteran experiences, including educational materials geared towards students. These original resources should incorporate Veterans stories, and/or original literary works by Veterans.

Who is eligible: Non-profit organizations in Minnesota, including K12 public schools, and Tribal Nations.
Grant range: $10K-$20K

How to apply: All proposals must be received through the Minnesota Humanities Center’s Foundant grants website.

To create a login with Foundant system and/or login with your existing account, access the system here.

Once you log in, click “Apply” on the left-hand-side navigation. From there, look for the “2015-2016 Heritage Grants Program: Competitive” link. Clicking on the link will allow you to submit an application.

Note: As a best practice, the Humanities Center recommends that applicants draft their proposals in a word processing document (Microsoft Word, etc.) and then copy/paste into Foundant when ready to submit.

The deadline for applications is 5 p.m., Monday, November 30. Decisions/Applicant notification will be no later than December 22, 2015.

If you have questions, please contact Laura Benson, Grant/Contract Projects Manager, at or 651-772-4244.

Tips for Applying:

There is a richness of lived experience in every community. The Humanities Center seeks proposals that build on strengths and stories within each community, and respond to community-identified needs and evaluative data. Partnership and collaborations among organizations and communities are encouraged, as is involving educators in not just the initiative, but the process as well. The Humanities Center strongly encourages proposals that are grounded in our four core values:

  • Build and strengthen relationships
  • Recognize the power of story and the danger of absence*
  • Learn from and with multiple voices
  • Amplify community solutions for change.

For more information about the Humanities Center core values, strategies and outcomes, read this Education Theory excerpt. Though it uses Education Strategy language, it should still serve as a lens through which applicants consider grant processes and strategies.  

*Absent Narratives bring into public life the stories and experiences of people and communities that are often left out or marginalized. Research shows that students and families are more engaged in school when the school culture reflects their experiences and perspectives.

The Humanities Center held a virtual information session for interested grantees. Information covered included a grant overview, tips for applying, and a review of the Foundant system. If you missed this information session or would like to listen to the recording, click here.

If you have any questions, contact Laura Benson, Grant/Contract Projects Manager, at or 651-772-4244.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: Can individuals apply?
A: No, only non-profit organizations are eligible. Individuals may be included as partners or collaborators, but may not be the lead applicant.

Q: Public schools are included, but what about colleges and universities?
A: For this opportunity, colleges and Universities cannot be the sole/lead applicant. If an organization chooses to collaborate or partner with a college or university, however, that is considered an eligible activity.

Q: My organization wants to apply, but we don’t have non-profit status. What do we do?
A: You would be considered an eligible applicant if you obtain a fiscal sponsor.

Q: Can the work build on an existing program or does it have to be brand new?
A: Veterans materials must be original creations; but for those initiatives that address educational achievement, yes, the work can build on an existing program.

Q: What expenses are allowable/unallowable under Legacy funding?
A: There are some basic categories that are unallowable, such as the purchase of alcohol, administrative activities not directly related to the project, and any activities related to fundraising. You should consult the following two sources.

MMB Guidance to Agencies on Legacy Funding Expenditure

Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards

Note: these links can also be accessed within the application.

Q: What are some examples of projects you will fund and/or not fund?
    A: Sample Programs Aligned with the Criteria Outlined Above:

  • Working with Veterans through storytelling and Story Circle methodologies, to create published works to be distributed to schools
  • A group of teachers at a school who want to convene and engage students and parents around four Somali bilingual books

Sample Programs Not Aligned with Criteria Outlined Above:

  • Training service animals for Veterans
  • A teacher inviting a parent into school to talk about his/her occupation